Here’s one thing about the idea of possibly having many lives…
It sure helps me relax!
I mean, when I think about it—if we have many, many lives to become the best we can be, then I don’t have to try to be perfect all the time!
Yes, perfectionism runs in my family. My Dad is a bit of a perfectionist—I think he’d really like to be perfect and right all the time (don’t we all?). I remember this little statue he had when I was a kid that said, “I once thought I was wrong…but I was mistaken.” And I don’t know why I know this (I must have done laundry at some point when I was a kid), but I remember his sock drawer being extremely organized, with all the socks perfectly folded and lined up in a row. I always thought that was funny.
Now I find myself being like him and trying to be perfect, too—although not so much with the sock drawer (he would probably cry if he saw my sock drawer nowadays)—but in the way of always trying to do everything exactly right. I suspect that some of my siblings share the same drive toward perfectionism. I absolutely hate it when I’m wrong about something. (Although this rarely happens—ask my hubby! On second thought, maybe don’t ask him...he’s proven me wrong more times than I’d care to remember.)
But most of all, I try to be calm, loving, and patient all the time. And I fail at this sometimes—especially the whole “patient” thing. Well, and the “calm” thing, too. Damn, and the “loving” thing, as well. I am just not perfect, as much as I’d like to be.
Now, if I have many more lives to live, I can continue to try to do my best, but when I fail, I can forgive myself and realize that I have perhaps hundreds of more lifetimes to become that perfect calm, loving, patient person.
For a perfectionist like me, that would really be a relief.